Monday, 3 December 2007

Vile Bodies

So I've been following all the threads about cosmetic surgery... From here to here, and back to Renegade.

I have to ask .... why is there this 'feminist' move towards hatred of female bodies? Since when did being flat-chested become some kind of feminist badge of honour? And why are some choices regarding bodies more equal than others?

So what's the message from Angela and Ginmar? Hate your female body. Let it become a site of self-hatred. Because if you don't already hate it, some feminist will come and hate it for you.

Your body will never be yours as a feminist unless you give it over as property of the sisterhood - to be critiqued, poked fun at, abused, examined, spoken for, or misunderstood.

Way to go, feminism.


thene said...

I think Ginmar's playing at t'old hate-the-sin bullcrap; 'I don't hate you or want to take away your choices but YOU MUST CONFESS ALL YOUR SINS.' It's a very Christian narrative, now I think of it. Everyone is a sinner, even if they've damn good reason to call it otherwise!

I don't read it as her hating or critiquing the female body, just as her trying to impose her zomgzpatriarchy narrative on it whether it actually applies or not. Your body will always be Ginmar's, unless you say: 'No, you're absurd, I'm not joining your religion.'

[It's Amanda, not Angela, btw]

belledame222 said...

"Angela" would've been ironic, considering. and yep, Christian narrative, exactly. probably part of why I just don't -get- this whole thing; the religion I don't practice but is still more part of my culture is more, "You fucked up, in a way that concretely affected someone else. Go fix it/make amends." Even the worshipping is expressed through concrete actions: make offerings, build an ark, this, that.

also the lack of boundaries thing, yeah. Your body never belongs to you and you alone; in order to free it from the Patriarchy, the tacit message is, it must first belong to the collective: Class Women. Come the Revolution/Promised Land, and thus the withering away of the gendered Class System, -then- you can do whatever you like with your body without it being deeply Meaningful in a way that either does or doesn't hurt Class Woman; but not till then.

keep waiting.

belledame222 said...

hey, thene, btw, I was trying to get in touch with you and the address I had from your profile didn't seem to work. drop me a line? bel4 AT earthlink DOT net.

belledame222 said...

with Amanda it's a bit different, I think, at least from the OP and her followup comments (and i have to admit, what i already know/experience of her):

"This Details article makes me feel so RELIEVED and VALIDATED over my -not- getting implants/flat chest. Ha ha, bimbos, you might have big tits but I have better self esteem and alternative creds! AND now it turns out men like natural better anyway. But, I can't totally own that because that might make me look like someone who's uh oh shallow and seeking male approval (i.e. Details author); quick, stuff it back into the supposedly feminist framework and hope no one notices. I'M not the shallow person with shaky self-esteem: YOU (THEY) are. Yes you ARE yes you ARE yes you ARE..."

verte said...

Really? Even when she's calling Ren every degrading name under the sun and taking the piss out of her breasts? I think it's critical of certain kinds of female bodies, or at least, the choice to modify them - and to be honest, I think it ends up almost being the same thing.

I hadn't thought of the Christian undertone to this, but you're absolutely right. Hmm, that's very interesting indeed. I wrote this non-post in a bit of a rush, but I hope you don't mind me referencing you in a presentation I'm giving tomorrow? I'm talking briefly about all the latest blog drama over cosmetic surgery in relation to neoliberalism and a feminism of the monstrous, and well, totally relevant.

Ooops, I clearly have Angelas on the brain. :)

verte said...

BD: Yup, totally. It just seems like such a damaging kind of binary. I suppose it's an individualism vs. happysocialistcollective thing (I kind of identify as left leaning liberal)? But then Ginmar doesn't seem to me to be the biggest peace lovin' leftie hippy on the planet (I've just been looking at that there wiki page *smirk*).

I also wonder about the arguments on that thread over who gets to identify as feminist. For the older guard (at least in the UK) being a feminist seems far more to do with being part of a movement than simply approaching things with a certain ideology in mind. In which case, perhaps the ownership of bodies crap is more understandable. But I think it still stinks.

thene said...

Referencing me? I can't imagine why, but, cool!

I think I hadn't read the worst of the boob-insults when I typed that comment :/

Tom said...

On an unrelated note, just thought I'd post a link to a great new feminist blog I've discovered today that struck me as if it'd be very much up your street: